There wasn’t a lot of push back from the usual suspects yesterday after the Bill King press release on the latest endorsers to his campaign. I mean, what is there to slam.

Maybe the usual suspects were over the river and through the woods on their way grandmother’s house.

‘Stros skipper A.J. Hinch was runner-up for the AL Manager of the Year Award. The Baseball Writers of America first handed out the award in 1983. How many times has the NL Manager of the Year been awarded to a ‘Stros skipper?

Karla Cisneros’ opponent went negative yesterday in a mail piece. I guess he felt he didn’t have any other options.

Nowadays you have to have a subscription or pick up a hard copy to read the Chron E-Board takes. Today, the E-Board doesn’t think you can represent Fort Bend County in the Texas Legislature while living in Montgomery County. How do Fort Bend Dems feel about this? Here is the entire E-Board take:

Calling all candidates! 

The last day to register to run in the 2016 elections is coming up fast – Monday, Dec. 14 – and an exciting opportunity has opened up in Missouri City. State Rep. Ron Reynolds, a Democrat who represents the region, was convicted of misdemeanor barratry. For those who aren’t lawyers, that means Reynolds illegally solicited clients as an attorney. A jury sentenced Reynolds to a year behind bars, though the state representative will likely appeal the case. 

Fort Bend County is one of the fastest-growing, most diverse places in the entire nation, and it deserves representation by someone who can focus on fighting for his constituents instead of fighting allegations at the criminal courthouse. Yet even as he faces a year behind bars, Reynolds still hasn’t resigned from office. 

The destiny of Texas’ representative government shouldn’t rest in the hands of a tarnished incumbent. Instead, it falls on citizens to step up and run against Reynolds in the party primary and general election. 

In fact, those challengers have been a long time coming. 

Reynolds has been dogged by allegations of ambulance chasing going back to 2012. And in 2011, he was taken to court by the state attorney general for failure to file campaign finance disclosures.

You would think that a candidate with such a messy record would have been easy pickings for a strong challenger. However, the Republican Party stumbled at that first step – find a strong challenger. 

The general election for Reynolds’ seat last cycle had the odd distinction of featuring two candidates who faced trouble with the law – Reynolds for barratry and David Hamilton, a Republican, who was arrested in 2010 for disorderly conduct at a Kentucky abortion clinic. 

Then again, it is easy to understand why Republicans wouldn’t expend effort trying to oust a legislator like Reynolds. State House District 27, which Reynolds represents, is a strong safe seat for any Democratic candidate. He won the 2014 race with 66 percent of the vote and won in 2012 with 69 percent. 

Until Texas reforms the way we draw districts, the party primary will continue to be where the real election takes place. 

Those primary results are even more depressing than the general election. Reynolds has faced no competitive party primaries since he was first elected in 2010. 

Democrats could try to justify this sort of fealty to incumbency if Reynolds were an indispensable workhorse. But as Texas Monthly put it when they rated him one of the worst legislators of 2013, Reynolds was “destined for obscurity – until he began making the wrong kind of headlines.” 

For example, going through the list of Reynolds’ bills that successfully became law last session, it looks like his only job was to create local management districts and issue empty commemorations. Did you know that April 20, 2015 was Missouri City Day at the State Capitol? 

Political players often suffer from the delusion that incumbents are somehow uniquely qualified to perform their representative duty. But in a dynamic place like Fort Bend County, we have faith that there are smart and engaged Democrats and Republicans who are more than capable of meeting and even exceeding Reynolds’ performance in Austin – just as long as they aren’t busy fighting barratry charges.

What is the betting line on Fort Bend Dems giving Rep. Reynolds a free ride this time around?

Hal Lanier (1986) and Larry Dierker (1998) of course have won the NL Skipper of the Year Award.

The ‘Stros will host the Brewers for two at The Yard to end next season’s Spring Training schedule.

Hey, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends.  I will try to check back on Friday.

Delay: More Endorsements

Hall of Fame greats Yogi Berra and Willie Mays will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom honor today. Of course, Yogi is no longer with us. How many times did Willie and Yogi face each other in a World Serious?

These are good endorsements for Bill King. I am sure we will see a spirited reaction from the usual suspects. I don’t think they will be able to delete them though. Check this:


November 24, 2015 



Businessman Bill King continued extending his campaign’s growing base of support with two of Mayor Annise Parker’s top campaign leaders — Metro chair Gilbert Garcia, and former Parker campaign finance chair David Arpin — announcing their public support of King’s campaign.

“Houston has a choice between two qualified candidates, and for me the choice is clear,” Garcia said. “Bill King is the best choice to steer us through what could be tougher times. For years, he has studied local issues which makes him uniquely prepared to solve future challenges. At Metro, we took a tip from Bill and focused on rebuilding the backbone of the system — the local bus network. It will yield excellent returns for our riders and for taxpayers.”

“Bill is right when he says Houstonians now have a clear choice for mayor,” Arpin added. “Bill’s thoughtful approach to the issues challenging our city will best serve all Houstonians and move us forward as a diverse, welcoming and affordable city that works.”

Parker appointed Garcia, who was chairman of her 2009 mayoral campaign and co-chair of her transition team, Metro chairman in 2010. Prior to that, he earned a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and joined Salomon Brothers in New York City where he became a Vice-President. In 1990, he joined former Mayor Henry Cisneros to build Cisneros Asset Management Company, ultimately becoming its president. In 2002, he joined Garcia Hamilton & Associates, a $6.5 billion money management firm in Houston, and is the firm’s managing partner.

Arpin served as 2009 campaign finance chair and treasurer of the Annise Parker for Houston campaign. He is a lifetime Democrat, and has served in the LGBT political leadership as a longtime National Board Member of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and former board member and treasurer of the Houston GLBT PAC. He is a retired healthcare executive and currently a real estate investor.

“I am proud to have these two accomplished Houston leaders join our team to get City Hall back to basics,” King said. “It sends a very clear and strong message that Houstonians that love this city are prepared to unite to address the serious challenges we face — and that my approach will be to include all perspectives in crafting the solutions to meet those challenges.”

King added: “While over the years I have been a frequent critic of Metro, I have been greatly encouraged by the current leadership’s refocusing on our bus service, which is the backbone of our transit system and on which so many working families rely.  Expanded transportation options for our region have never been more important, but any transit solution must be examined against a vigorous cost-benefit analysis to insure that our tax dollars are spent in the most efficient and effective manner possible.”

Yogi Berra and Willie Mays faced each other in the 1951 and 1962 World Serious of course and the Yankees won both.

HCC Trustee Dave Wilson wants HCC to pay his legal fees for faking his way on to the ballot and his HCC fellow trustees are saying no way. Wilson should have figured that this might happen so I guess that is the cost of doing business the Wilson way. Here is from behind the Chron’s paywall:

“Based on the attorney general opinion we’ve received regarding this request, I don’t feel we have the authority to reimburse trustee Wilson from tax dollars,” board chairman Zeph Capo said in a text message. “Wilson’s legal dispute with the county began prior to beginning his term as a trustee. Given the AG ruling, I’m taking the advice he often gives us in similar circumstances … Let ’em sue.”

The team will now start focusing on dealing with arbitration-eligible players which means they will increase the payroll which means the price of a Saint Arnold at The Yard will probably go up – yikes!

The Week

Last night Commentary watched “The Hunting Ground” on CNN. I highly recommend.

Then I switched to the AMAs and saw them perform the “Star Wars” theme. I don’t know about that.

On Opening Day in 2014 against the Yankees at The Yard, who was our starting shortstop?

This is a kind of interesting political and campaign week. Folks are starting to focus on Thanksgiving Day and the holidays and Early Voting in Person starts in nine days. Only in H-Town.

The cavalry, err, Texas Democratic Party, is swooping in today. Here is from a press release they put out yesterday:

The eyes of the nation are on Houston as Houstonians choose their next mayor on December 12. The stakes are high in this election, either a Texas Democrat or a Tea Partier will run the fourth largest city in the country.

Huh! Some folks are predicting a 20% turnout. That’s not even the eyes of H-Town.

And more from the press release:

On Monday, Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa and Harris County Democratic Party Chair Lane Lewis will formally endorse Sylvester Turner, the next Mayor of Houston.

There is an interesting conversation going on in some H-Town communities on the mayoral race and it is certainly not about Tea Partiers. Oh, well.

Then this from Politico today:

Republicans are nearly three times as angry at the government as their Democratic counterparts, according to the results of the latest Pew Research Center study out Monday.

I don’t think they needed a poll to figure that out.

Our 2014 Opening Day starting shortstop was Jonathan Villar of course.

We traded Villar away last week.

Texting and Refugees

Commentary would prefer banning all handheld gizmos while driving. How about in school zones? Here is from the Chron:

Officials are mulling a citywide ban on texting while driving that they hope will curb distractions, reduce road fatalities and bring Houston in line with more than 40 Texas cities and most states that already have such a law.

It’s not the first time Houston officials have broached the issue; Mayor Annise Parker has long lobbied to impose a Texaswide texting-while-driving ban. But months after another legislative session with no action, term-limited Parker said she would ask council members to consider a local ban before she leaves office at the end of the year.

Well I guess something is better than nothing.

Josh Donaldson of the Jays won the AL MVP Award yesterday. He was the 48th pick in the 2007 MLB Draft. Who picked him?

This from McClatchy:

Amid fears that the United States could become victim of a deadly Paris-style terrorist attack, the House of Representatives Thursday approved a bill to impose heightened security measures on Iraqi and Syrian refugees seeking to resettle in this country.

Lawmakers voted 289-137 on a measure sponsored by Reps. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, that would prevent refugees from those battle-scarred nations from entering the U.S. unless the heads of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the director of National Intelligence certify that each refugee doesn’t pose a threat to the U.S.

“When we allow refugees into this country, we must be guided by one single principle,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said on the House floor. “If you are a terrorist or a threat to our country, you are not getting in. Period.”

President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the legislation.

“This legislation would introduce unnecessary and impractical requirements that would unacceptably hamper our efforts to assist some of the most vulnerable people in the world, many of whom are victims of terrorism, and would undermine our partners in the Middle East and Europe in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis,” the White House said in a statement.

Cong. Gene Green voted for. Oh, well.

Josh Donaldson was drafted by the Cubbies of course.

ESPN announced that they will air the ‘Stros and Yankees on Opening Day.

All Endorsed

When the Rocket won the 2004 NL Cy Young Award with the ‘Stros, who was runner-up?

I am thinking just about everyone has handed out their endorsements. Well, kind of.

The Mayor still hasn’t endorsed. When she does it will not come as a surprise.

I will say I visited with an in-the-know Dem player yesterday and this person did acknowledge that the Chris Bell endorsement did indeed help Bill King despite the naysayer pushback.

I will say it again. All bets are off.

We will see!

Of course, there are still a few groups who will still be handing out last minute endorsements for the runoffs.

It seems like the past year, there has been ongoing construction on my block. Guess what? Got another tire air pressure alert. It looks like another nail in a tire.

Hall of Fame great Randy Johnson of course was runner-up in the 2004 NL Cy Young Award voting.

This was expected – from the ‘Stros website:

Coming off a breakout 2014 season that certainly proved to be no fluke, Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel took his performance to another level in ’15 and took home the American League Cy Young Award, presented by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, on Wednesday.

Keuchel finished with 22 first-place votes and 186 points, edging David Price (Tigers/Blue Jays), who had eight first-place votes and 143 points.

A.J. Hinch was runner-up in the AL Skipper of the Year voting. As a player, Hinch played for four different MLB teams – name the four?

The Chris Bell endorsement for Bill King sure got some folks worked up.

In my book, Chris is and always has been a good guy and a great Dem.

He took on Tom Delay in a big way – did you? I certainly didn’t.

He ran in races when nobody else would – like in 2006 and 2008 – did you? I certainly didn’t.

Here is a bit from the Chron:

Former Congressman Chris Bell endorsed fiscal conservative Bill King in the Houston mayoral runoff Tuesday, a move that could help King counter his rival’s attempts to cast him as an extremist and potentially allow him to make inroads with progressive voters.

Bell’s decision shocked many political insiders expecting the progressive former mayoral candidate to support Democrat Sylvester Turner, who has positioned himself as the establishment choice in a city that has not elected a Republican mayor since 1979.

Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, a Democrat, and City Councilman Steve Costello, a Republican, both of whom failed to make the mayoral runoff, have backed Turner.

“There’s potential for this to signal that King is not as extreme a politician as the Turner camp would like to paint him as, and it may be that this softens his support against the HERO ordinance and also perhaps quells concerns about him receiving endorsements from clear radical conservatives like Steve Hotze,” said University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus, referring to Houston’s equal rights ordinance and the GOP power broker who helped finance the campaign against the law.


Turner spokeswoman Sue Davis dismissed Bell’s endorsement as “irrelevant.”

“Houstonians who voted for Bell are unlikely to go to King in the runoff because King’s values are not theirs,” Davis said in an email. “Bell got their votes because he positioned himself as a progressive. Just because Bell has changed his stripes doesn’t mean his voters will.”

Here is the entire Chron piece: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Bell-surprises-with-endorsement-of-King-in-mayor-6639699.php?t=921d5e0aea438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium.

Really? If he was “irrelevant”, then why did State Rep. Sylvester Turner reach out for his “irrelevant” support? Really?

The folks that are skewering Chris and Bill in the social media department sure are clever and even entertaining.

If social media like it is today had been around in 2003, I wondered how they would have handled Rep. Turner for not getting on the bus to Ardmore.

We will never know.

Go check out @mmorris011 and latest take on the H-Town mayoral vote.

A.J. Hinch played for the A’s, Royals, Tigers, and Phillies of course.

The AL Cy Young Award winner will be announced today.

Local Spirited Debate

In 1991, Jeff Bagwell won the NL Rookie of the Year Award and he played in 156 games. How many dingers did he hit that season?

Well the following got a spirited debate started last night:

November 16, 2015

Former mayoral candidate Chris Bell will endorse businessman Bill King tomorrow, November 17th, at Godwin Community Center in Meyerland at 10:45am. Bell is a former U.S. Representative and at-large Houston City Council Member, who is known for his progressive record.

Then this:

Rebecca Elliott ‏@rfelliott 1h1 hour ago
In surprise move, progressive former mayoral candidate Chris Bell to announce endorsement of Bill King tomorrow, per King’s campaign

Teddy Schleifer ‏@teddyschleifer 55m55 minutes ago
Teddy Schleifer Retweeted Jim McGrath
Teddy Schleifer added,

Jim McGrath @jgm41
Very proud to announce former mayoral candidate, City Council Member and U.S. Rep @ChrisBell2015 will endorse @BillKingForHou tomorrow.

Mike Snyder Retweeted
Jim McGrath ‏@jgm41 32m32 minutes ago
Jim McGrath Retweeted Bill Kelly
Nobody more stalwart than Chris Bell on these issues — let him have his say tomorrow if you can muster the decency. https://twitter.com/billkellytexas/status/666441907506016256
Jim McGrath added,

Bill Kelly @billkellytexas
Just to be clear: if you support equality, a woman’s right to chose, or investment in infrastructure, @ChrisBell2015 just sold you out.
Bill Kelly ‏@billkellytexas 35m35 minutes ago

Bill Kelly Retweeted Steven David
It sure it as hell disqualified him from ever saying he is a Democrat or Progressive in Houston.

Bill Kelly ‏@billkellytexas 1h1 hour ago
Bill Kelly Retweeted Rebecca Elliott
If true, every progressive stance @ChrisBell2015 has ever taken and every supporter should bury him. Just childish.

Miya Shay ‏@miyashay 1m1 minute ago
So the @ChrisBell2015 endorsement of @BillKingForHou for #HouMayor sure has the political class chattering tonight. #abc13

Miya Shay ‏@miyashay 10h10 hours ago
.@rfelliott @bjrottinghaus or maybe he just wanted a job in the admin.

Commentary attended all but a handful of the 60 or so H-Town mayoral forums and Chris Bell always said he was the most progressive candidate on the stage and nobody ever challenged him.

I am thinking Chris has got a pretty thick skin.

Oh, well.

This does not come as a surprise. From today’s Chron:

Mayor Annise Parker said Monday she will not attempt to revive the controversial equal rights ordinance that voters resoundingly rejected this month.

Speculation had abounded since Parker, in the days after the sweeping defeat, said the City Council might revisit the ordinance before she leaves office at the end of the year. Though she was limited by time and the fact that several City Council members are in the midst of tight runoff races, opponents seized on that statement. They began making calls warning residents that the law could return.

In a written statement, Parker said, “Considering all the other issues I still want to get finished, I do not see a way that we will be able to revisit the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance before I leave office at the end of the year.”

Jeff Bagwell had 15 dingers his rookie season in 156 games of course and Carlos Correa had 22 dingers in 99 games.

And this from the Chron:

Correa didn’t make his debut in the majors until June 8, but he made up for lost time with arguably the best rookie campaign in franchise history. He now joins Bagwell as the only players in Astros history to win the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year award.

Correa, 21, was selected as the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Nice. I am thinking if he keeps playing at this level, he could very well be voted starting shortstop for the AL All Stars next season.


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